If you’ve read my last post you know that I have been pretty busy. As a spoonie I try to keep the stress down and this year has been full of ups and down. I’ve dealt with multiple mental illness in my family, a death ( although I wasn’t really close to her she was a ray of sunshine and it still affected me), finding out my BFF is pregnant with twins after trying for a while and so much more while trying to be in school.
I also went to see a naturopath which I’ve talked about in my last post. This post will be about the next step I need to take which is the AIP diet. I am still looking into it and learning more and more what I can’t eat but I thought I would give a quick over view of what it is.
AIP stands for auto-immune protocol. It is a strict elimination diet that is based off the Paleo approach. Now with that said I am not a diet person I think that everything in moderation is fine. If you follow any type of diet and it works for you HOORRAY. I choose to do this one under the supervision of my naturopath for the following reasons.
It is a temporary diet. Meaning it is a diet with stages which helps find what inflammatory foods you react too. You eliminate all foods that are considered trigger foods for 1-3 months and then slowly reintroduce them to see what affects you or not.
It may help my body to heal over-all. Their is many diets out there to follow for auto-immune I’ve read and tried a few with success but none that were this strict. Eliminating all potential inflammatory foods might help me see which foods I react too and didn’t realize.
I have talked to my doctor and this diet is also not being done alone. Meaning I am also going through multiple other screening tools to see what else might be going on in my body ( blood work, taking certain supplements, getting hormones check)
I have pretty good pain control but I am trying to be even more pain free so why not just try it. There hasn’t been really any scientific research done on this diet but many people who have tried it are saying great things.
Being on the AIP diet isn’t the only thing that I am doing. That is something to remember. Diet alone won’t completely change my life. I have finally been able to get into a better routing the last two weeks. In order to keep it I’ve been keeping my sleep schedule even through the weekend ( no sleeping in). I’ve up my hydration and workout 3x a week for starters.
Now to go back to the diet. When I first looked into the diet to be honest it was scary the list of cannot eat seemed really daunting and still does but there is still so much I can still eat and that is what I am going to concentrate on. Once I have gone more through the diet I will talk about it more since I will understand it better.
The AIP has a few phase. Step 1 the elimination phase, this is the phase that I am about to start. I have chosen to do it for 3 months that way the first month if there’s any accidental slip ups ( eating foods that I did not realize aren’t AIP friendly) I can promptly remove and then spend the last 2 months knowing that I will be eating foods that are compliant. The other phases are the reintroduction phase. This is when you slowly introduce food ack into your diet, this is also done in different phases, meaning each phase has recommended foods to reintroduce into your diet.
The thing that I am struggling with the most at the moment is recipes. Yes, there is a ton out there I agree. The difficult part is that this is a new diet for me and because there is so many stages in this diet protocol I have to weed out what stage the recipe is in. I am currently looking into taking a few old recipes and just converting them into AIP friendly recipes ( think shepherds pie, apple pork tenderloin etc..). I am hoping to keep you guys updated on meals and how I am doing on AIP.
If you are considering this please do your research. The protocol isn’t for everyone and should be discussed with you doctor.
Today, I wanted to talk about chronic fatigue. What is chronic fatigue? Ever had what you thought was a great night sleep but have woken up still feeling exhausted or worse? Yes. Now, imagine feeling like that day after. Imagine having to decided if you should shower standing up, sitting down or at all. That the thought of just taking that shower exhaust you. These are just examples of what it is. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or mayalgic encephalomyelitis ( ME) is a condition that causes a person to feel persistently fatigue and affects multiple facets or daily living . IT can get worse with any activity and there’s no known cause at the moment.
Viruses and diseases : It seems that viruses and diseases that cause inflammation in the body may be a cause or related to CFS.
Age: Although people in their 40-50’s seem to be at higher risks, anyone can develop CFS.
Sex: Woman tend suffer from CFS more often ( I think this makes sense since woman tend to be diagnosed more often with inflammatory diseases). It may be because they tend to talk to a doctor about their symptoms more often.
A lot of the tricks on how to cope with Fibro and multiple other disease relate to this one as well.
Exercising and nutrition play a vital role in keeping your system healthy. Exercising doesn’t mean running 5k every day. It just means to keep active. Do light stretches or a few exercises or activities you enjoy. Staying away from sugar, caffeine, alcohol and just general junk food will also help. Exercise and nutrition have also proven to be beneficial for memory which can be affected with CFS. It also helps keep inflammation in the body down.
Employment: Some companies have programs to help employees with illness to help them at work and being productive by allowing some accommodations. You can also keep a note book with you to help remember the things you have to do ( good for everyday life really). If you cannot work here in Canada you may be eligible for assistance. In Ontario we have the Ontario Disability Support Program. Even on ODSP you can are allowed to work so many hours a week.
Schooling: If you have CFS and are in school see if they can accommodate you with anything. Cambrian College ( where I am for the trades) has a great program to allow accommodations such as: Extra time for test, people to take your notes, having a recorder etc… I have applied because I get exhausted in certain class room and have a hard time staying awake. I am allowed noise cancelling head phones and a recorder to assist me.
Relationship can also be affected. People around you may not understand, believe or think that your condition is as bad as you’d think. It can take a toll on your relationship your kids and also on your sexual life. Finding and surrounding yourself with people who understand and support you is the biggest thing you can do.
My own brain 😛 ( I’ve done a lot of research through out the almost 10 years of my diagnosis so some information might not be shown on these sites, there’s books and resources out there to find great information)
On my journey to a healthier life style I have adopted a less waste life style. I am saying less waste because the zero waste movement is too stressful for me. In doing this I decided that I would try to use reusable products where I could. I had tried a cheap version of the Diva cup that I bought on amazon and loved it. My cup was on it’s way out and while searching for a new one I discovered they have a whole line of waste free period products.
I can’t wear tampons because I get yeast infections and pads well they give me diaper rash ( I’ve tried so many brands). I found that I also can’t always wear a cup for all my periods because sometimes when I flare-up my innards hurt. So, luna pads and period underwear here I go.
I decided to go with the diva cup and the Luna brand for two reasons. 1) They are a better well known brand 2) The price is pretty decent when you consider it is in Canadian dollars and you get free shipping. The other brands I found the shipping price was ridiculous or they didn’t ship to Canada.
I bought a lot of products all at once I’m not going to lie it was expensive but I bought 8 pairs of underwear( all underwear come with a liner each), 1 heavy black flow kit (6 different size pads) , a cup kit with pantyliners ( 1 reusable cup with 2 pantyliners)
On to the review…
The website is nice. They have a nice little feature where you answer questions and they line you up with what would suit you best. They have a range of products, from cup sizes, panty liners, pads, underwear as well as kits if you don’t know where to start or if you know exactly where to start. It is easy to navigate, shop and pay.
When my order first came in I was actually shorted my heavy flow kit and the cup kit. I know this sounds like a horrible start but I took it as an opportunity to see how well their customer service was. Guess what! It is amazing. I tried the talk online options, talk on the phone and through e-mail. The talk online was busy so I left my concern, they messaged me within a day. I called the center, the people on the other end really seemed disappointed that I hadn’t receive my products and directed me to the proper course of action. I was to e-mail them my order number, a picture of what I received and what I was missing. I e-mailed them with everything they asked, again I got an answer within one day. The customer service is definitely an A+.
Shipping. They are fast within a few days of placing my order I got the package, within 5 days ( weekend included) I had received my missing items. Plus it was free.
Now for the products
The cup(5/5) ( cup alone is 39.99, Cup and liner kit that I bought 73.97)
I give this product high score because I absolutely love it.
All companies make cups in different length, thickness, shape and sizes. If the Diva Cup doesn’t suit you, remember that another company with a different cup might fit you and work for you better. Our vaginas are all are different so some cups might work better then others.
The Diva Cup has a wider rim at the top, a good grip at the bottom and 4 small pin holes at the top to ensure proper suction. I haven’t had any problems with leaking . I like that there is a few measuring lines to see how heavy I am bleeding, . On the lunapad website you can also get kits. I got my Diva Cup with two long panty liners. The lama print on them are quiet cute.
If you buy the cup alone it is what I find the best deal if you don’t want panty liners. It is the cheapest option. You only need one and it is easy to clean. You can buy the cleaner on the site but I just use sex toy cleaner to clean it. The reason you want to wash it with one of these solutions is because they don’t leave residue behind. I boil it for 5-10 minutes at the end of my cycle.
The cons of the Diva Cup. It can take a few tries to insert it properly to where there is no leakage. I promise keep trying and you will succeed.
If you don’t like getting your hands a little bloody then it will be something to get over.
It has the possibility of pussy slapping you. What is a Diva Cup pussy slap? This is when you have inserted your cup but you have not twisted it until the cup has fully opened ( you will get a feel for this ). You will then go along your day and boom the cup fully opens up when you’re least expecting it. It isn’t really painful but it does give you a few seconds of being uncomfortable and of surprise. I find doing a few Kegel exercises normally helps get the cup in the proper position.
When you are in public bring a bottle of water with you to the bathroom so you can at least rinse out your cup while you are in there instead of having to clean it out in front of a bunch strangers.
Overall this is the best product that I found from the Diva Cup Luna Pad line. It is portable, easy to clean and holds up to 12 hours a day depending on your flow.
I bought the other products not because I just because wanted to review them, but because at times due to my illness my insides hurt and the cup becomes unusable for me.
The pads ( 3-5) ( Heavy flow kit 110$.94)
I bought the heavy flow kit. Now, these pads are different then their other kits. The other kits have a liner that you attach to your underwear with inserts to change during the day. The Heavy flow kit does not, it is strictly a pad.
What I love about these pads?
They are very soft, regular pads tend to cause me to have a form of diaper rash ( no matter how much I change them) where these don’t. I was really worried that I would feel the pad because they look quiet thick but I didn’t. These felt like a little cloud/pillow for my vagina. The snap on buttons are also a breeze but I would’ve liked to have the double row of snaps like the panty liners did.
The absorbency also surprised me, I thought I would leak through but I did not. These pads are quiet absorbent. You can pick the color you would like with these: Black, Cream scalloped and cream. I picked the black pair for the simple reason that I don’t want to have to deal with the possibly of staining later on. If you’re one that doesn’t want to have dye ( this does cause some level of pollution) or likes to see the color of your blood,the amount in the pad then I would suggest that you go with one of the other colours.
These are made well and I am sure by the way they are made they will last a long time and save a bit of coin in the long run on regular pads.
I like this kit because it allowed me to find out what sizes I prefer and what I should want to buy in the future. The kit includes 6 pads ( 2 performa mini, 3 perfoma maxi and 1 perfoma Super) I prefer the Perform Super I move a lot an I find longer pads tend to suit my lifestyle better. There is a few different sizes available on the site.
I do like that the site has a good variety of pads to pick from. I picked this one for the variety in size and the fact that they were for heavier flows.
To take care of these. Put them on, change them, rinse them and then wash and dry.
Cons: I have an issue with these staying in place. I find that when I would pull up my underwear the pads sometimes rolled under. I am not sure if this is just caused because I have old underwear ( too cheap to buy new ones) so the shape of them is now pretty non-existent. I just had to reposition them properly, it’s not a huge con but it’s still a con. I wore them to the gym and around the house. I found that as long as I had pants on the pads would not move position whoever, if I walked around in just my undies the pads would tend to fall on the underside which of course does not give you any protection.
I also would have to buy multiple packs of these to be able to inter-change them during the day. They do sell individuals ones as well on the site.
This would be however probably the one I would buy second for the value. The price can be off putting because yes it is a bit more expensive but you will get plenty of wear out these. I have not tried the other pads so I cannot comment on them. If you have a lighter I thing the other pads, the ones with the changeable inserts might be a better product for you.
The underwear(4/5) (40$ a pair except the boxer brief they are 42$)
These are the most expensive option of the three products I tried. They do come with one liner that you can pull out. If you buy multiple then you can use multiple of those liners in a day.
These underwear’s are however very comfortable. They are soft and the liner inside them don’t cause any issues. The underwear are made of cotton and have a permanent liner in them. They then have a removable liner that you can place and take out. I actually really enjoy these underwear. They have 4 different types and they are all comfy.
I wear these on a day to day basis at times, especially on days I know I need to go to the gym. I sometimes don’t have time to shower after ( I know gross). I wear these underwear’s with the liner and bring some biodegradable wipes. Once I am done the workout, I take out the liner, freshen up real quick with a wipe and I am on my merry way to finish the day ahead. The removable liner catches the sweat and when I pull it out my underwear underneath are dry. I also like these because they sort of work like incontinent pads. After two kids and a chronic illness it sometimes causes me to dribble. I can wear these comfortably knowing that if anything happens the bit of pee that might come out will be caught in my underwear and that I will still feel dry.
The sizing guide is accurate so use it. All the different pairs I got were different styles and they all fit. The product does shrink a little but not much. You take care of these like the pads. Rinse, wash, repeat.
Cons: The biggest thing for me with these is the price. 40$ for a pair of underwear and a liner is a bit steep. They also don’t offer extra insert to buy. I think if they had the inserts that you could buy extra so you had multiple without having to buy 8 pairs of undies that this would be a much better deal. I like to change multiple times a day. One removable insert and the one in the underwear only give two.
My final thoughts.
Overall Lunapad products are a great long term investment. Although they can cost quiet a bit up front, they will save you money. My advice, buy a little bit at time and your arsenal of reusable period products will grow. They have a wide variety of products for every need.
They do offer a promotional code for people to get your first purchase 10$ and your referral person will get 10$ towards their next purchase. I do have a the code HERE. I am hoping to be able to receive enough that I would be able to buy and donate products for a woman’s shelter.
As I lay in bed I can feel the pressure on my skin. Every fleck of floating dust particles in the room that you see dancing in the sunlight. They touch my skin and make it burn. I feel like a heavy blanket has been laid over me covered in thousands of mites biting at my skin.
I don’t cover myself, yet I am cold and sore. I tried pulling the blankets over me but that hurt more. My hair itself hurts, how does a piece of my body that has no nerve ending hurt it doesn’t make sense. I can’t tie it up because it causes a migraine, I can’t leave it down because it hurts the skin.
I try to step out onto the floor, what is going on? Did someone put a ant hill on my floor? Did my kids spill Lego’s? My feet hurt. I want to put on a pair of thick socks but again the searing pain of my skin stops me in my tracks. Why do I hurt? Why does every inch of skin feel like it has gone through the ringer? Sometimes it’s as simple as I have a cold and other days there is no reason. Maybe I ate a piece of fruit too many, did I exercise to intensely? Sometimes there’s just no answer.
This is how I experience my Allodynia.
Allodynia is pain caused by stimuli that wouldn’t normally cause pain. Wearing a shirt, light touch, brushing your hair. Some people can experience it much more then others. It is common with people who suffer from : Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Migraines, neuropathy or post herpetic neuralgia ( caused by shingles). Allodynia is not an illness but a symptom.
There is 3 types of causes ( something I just learned):
Tactile Allodynia: This is caused from things directly touching your skin such as: skin to skin contact ( even a hug) ,a bra strap. This is when things are touching you but are not necessarily moving.
Mechanical Allodynia: This Is when pain is caused by something moving. The air being moved by a fan or someone walking by, slipping on a sock, bedsheets being pulled up.
Thermal Allodynia: This is pain caused by change in temperature. Hands burning when they are cold.
How to prevent Allodynia?
To help prevent or alleviate Allodynia you will have to figure out what can trigger your symptoms.
If you have thermal Allodynia you might be more sensitive to hot or cold. This would mean that you have to wear clothes appropriate to the weather or heat conditions in your area.
If you have tactile Allodynia wearing light or soft clothing might help. Keep hugging to a minimal and put boundaries. I often tell people when they can’t hug me or if they can to not hug me too hard.
Mechanical Allodynia might be a bit harder to have a handle on because you can’t control everything around you. You are capable of turning off a fan, there’s sheet “clips” that can stop your sheets from sliding off of your bed, keeping a distance from people when walking.
Sometimes a lifestyle change is needed. Food and exercise might need to be modified or completely changed to prevent flare-ups that can lead to Allodynia.
I hope this little article helps. I have linked to a few of the sites that I read up on. I read a lot of them to make sure I gave you the most details about Allodynia but still keeping it fairly simple. Some of the sites below go more into details on some aspects that I have. Feel free to read them too/
Where’s my Spoons? is a strictly a personal blog. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
This is a poem I wrote a while ago when I was having a really big flare. It was at a time when I didn’t talk much about my disease. I felt ashamed because most people didn’t understand how I could look so healthy and yet feel so horrible. I decided to share it will all spoonies in the hopes that it might touch your soul in some way or another.
I got sand between my joints, daggers in my shoulder blades, and calves that feel like burning coal.
I got a goodnight's rest, yet I still feel like I ran a marathon, no amount of napping will help.
I hear how lucky I am to be young, but this body feel so old, They don't understand because it's invisible.
I can be skipping today, running tomorrow, and in an instant be asking, where have all my spoons gone?
Hot one minute, cold the next, no it's not this and this I got it checked, I promise, I'll be fine.
When people think it's in your head, You're being dramatic you're a fake, They don't understand because it's invisible.
I can't do today, what I did yesterday, Sometimes I feel like such a burden, I forgot who I was for so long.
It's exhausting to look normal, when your normal feels wrong, but I remember I need to be strong.
I say I'm fine, to ease their mind, this disease I'm fighting is hard, it's ok they don't understand because it's invisible.
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I want to talk about body temperature. If you’re anything like me, temperature changes outside can cause a ton havock, but with me it’s not just temperature outside it’s my body itself that is defective. I have been asked countless times if I have menopause, the answer is no, I have gotten my hormones and everything else in between checked. I get hotflashes on the coldest days of winters and the hottest days of summer I am sometimes stuck wearing sweaters and wool socks because I am freezing. Today I will talk about the things that can be affected by this and how to manage.
People with chronic illnesses are often prone to be more sensitive to temperature change. It causes a slue of problems and sometimes it’s hard, especially if you’re not well equipped to do so.
I am not going to write about all the reasonings this can happen as I haven’t done a ton of research on it but I will post links for you to read up more on the subject at the bottom of the blog. This blog post is more on what you can do to help cope with the change of body temperature and not why or how it caused. Although I will note this is about both changes to external factors ( weather) and internal factors ( your body)
How to cope with heat
I consider heat the one the hardest to deal with, you can only take off so much clothes. Here are a few things that can help.
Wear cool, light colored, loose, moisture wicking clothes. This will help you stay cool and dry and help to not make you feel like a soggy rag.
Wear layers; If you live in an area like mine, weather can be freezing in the mornings and hot in the afternoons, wearing layers will provide you with the ability to adapt to the temperature changes easier as you can remove layers. Make sure you put the warmer layers on top for easy removal as the temperature rises.
Drink room temperature or hot drinks. This one sounds counter intuitive , but when you drink warmer fluids your body will work harder to bring your core temperature down which will help cool you off. Drinking cold water will force your body to warm up your core temperature making you hot, although drinking cold water does feel good at the time.
Take a cool shower but finish it with a shot of warm water. Taking a cool shower if you can will help you cool down, but make sure you finish with a shot of warm water like that your body will feel cooler upon exiting the shower.
Use a cooling towel. These towels come in different shapes, colors and variety. The one I enjoy using that also recently came out with a halo towel ( one to go around the head) is KOLDTEC towel.
Keep your home cool but not too cool. Another maybe confusing one. If you’re planning on staying home please crank the A/C to full blast. However, if you are planning on leaving the house just cool your house to a few degress cooler then outside. The change in temperature will affect you still but a lot less then if your sitting in a house much, much colder then outside.
How to cope with cold
Wear layers, meaning a variety of shirts, undergarments, socks and slippers, cardigans and sweaters. Just remember if you are prone to having hot flashes put the heavier layers on top for easy removal.
Have a hot water bottle ( do not put boiling water in these, they can cause serious injuries if the bottle breaks).
Have a heating blanket or pads ( buy the ones that automatically turn off, these can be a fire hazard if left on all or night or can cause serious bodily injury as well)
Keep a blanket around. You can put a small blanket in your purse or “flare up kit” to keep on hand.
Keep your environment warm.
Drink warm liquids, soups, yes this trick I use for hot and cold spells.
What if you have both?
I tend to have both at the same time. My head can be burning hot and the rest of me be freezing. The only thing I can suggest for this is to use tricks out of both the columns above based on where you are and what part of you is dealing with heat or coldness.
Remember that no matter if you are hot or cold to please stay well hydrated and well nourished throughout the day.
I know this is a short article but I hope that it will help you cope with some of the temperature sensitivities you may have.
Goodnight on my part spoonies
Links you can read for a better understanding of the reasons:
As many of you know Covid-19 had stopped the world in it’s in track. We have slowly and cautiously moved into phase three which is the reopening of businesses.
I have now started back to school for my shop classes. That means I am no longer at home with the kiddos and the hubby and I miss them dearly. I am hoping that this will allow to work on the blog a bit more despite still being very busy with class.
The return to shop classes has been stressful. Going into the unknown but all in all it hasn’t been too bad.
There’s policies put into place now. We all have to enter through one door. We have to scan our I.D. and show proof that we did a Covid-19 training program through the college. There is a no tool sharing policy. Despite this there is many tools we cannot afford to buy so the college provides this. After each use the tools must be sanitized and placed back. I have been using hand sanitizer like it’s going out of style because many still don’t follow the sanitize after use rule. I think it is more because it’s a habit then them being lazy. They are trying to keep us as separated as they can but that’s not always easy either. Any work stations used by students also need to be sanitized. Security also does walk arounds to make sure people are wearing their masks appropriately and are keeping a 6 foot distance.
I myself have been carpooling with a friend as I don’t want to have to take the public transit. He is also the person that I sit beside in class or work at the same table with.
I have also started going to the gym again. I don’t take pictures at the gym though because I don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I miss my small town gym taking pictures was a fun way to show that you can have an illness and still do things.
I have had a few anxiety attacks in my classes due to “not knowing” what I was doing. Reading theory is great but I am a hands on learner. I need to visually and physically do and see things to be able to feel comfortable in what I am doing. It’s unfortunately not possible at the moment to be properly shown as we are getting 11-15 weeks of labs squished in 5 weeks of labs and expected to still perform. It is the hardest part of going back to school. I don’t enjoy it but I am hoping to work through it and still hopefully graduate with good grades by the end of August. Covid-19 really sucks.
My hometown has been lucky as we haven’t had any confirmed cases other than two that weren’t sent to out hospital for care but weren’t from the town. Where I am now isn’t doing too bad considering the population. The count is 83 I think now.
The hubby has been doing an amazing job taking care of the kids. I miss him and them very much.
My life lately has been a lot of studying, gym time and I won’t lie Netflixing ( That should be an actual verb). I am hoping to get back to blogging. I am hoping to get back to blogs educating about symptoms and not just my personal life updates.
I hope you have all been coping as well as you can during these crazy times. My second semester started on May 25th and it has been quiet the busy time , juggling a household and as well as my kids school work. It’s been really busy.
I am very proud of what I accomplished in my 1rst semester. I finished with a 4.0GPA which is awesome ( yes , I am tooting my own horn because I can toot-toot). Second semester I was told was the hardest semester of the program. I am looking forward to it but I am not expecting to finish with a 4.0 this semester.
I will be aiming for all my grade to be over 80% but my goal is to not have anything below 75%. My pile of books this semester is about 2x bigger then last semester so this should be interesting.
I am slowly trying to get back into a routine but my life keeps changing. I was in a great routine when the kids had home schooling to do and now they are done school. I won’t lie during the week they definitely have more electronic babysitters then they normally do because I am in class. I am still making sure they are eating healthy and being active ( which happens more during the weekend because of my home work load).
I think the hardest thing that will be is that I am stuck inside doing classes all summer. As of yet all theory is done in distance education and I think it will remain like that for a while. However, they are looking at re-opening the college for classes that need a hands on portion ( Hello, trades). This is also throwing a wrench in my routine because now I have slowly repacked all the things I brought down because I was supposed to be moving back to my home away from home a second time ( I do miss my do bed that I left behind sooooo comfy).The date got pushed back so I had to unpack my things again. I also decided to start doing my make-up which I haven’t done in a while other then maybe mascara and eyeliner.
I am trying to get back to a good routine so when I do go back to college I will be ready and avoid some traps I’ve been falling into. I took melatonin to get back to sleep at an earlier time and my alarm is set for early morning. I will be continuing this routine until it becomes second nature. The change in my sleep patterns have definitely caused my fatigue to act out.
I haven’t been exercising because my energy levels are just too low. Add four kids to take care of on top of that, loads of homework and heat my fatigue is at an all time high. I am also starting to rehydrate again because I’ve been dropping the ball on that too. I need to rebuild my routine slowly if I want to make it through. I have been enjoying the extra time I get with my kiddos despite all this.
It will be stressful, but with hopefully good time management and organization I should be able to make through.
I wanted to write a little bit about everything going on around us. I’m not going to write about the death tolls and how quick this is going, whether I think this is a hoax or not. I want to write about the difference between self-isolation social distancing and what has changed for me.
So what’s the difference between self-isolation and self-distancing and who should be doing what?
Self-Isolation: This is the act of staying at home away from everyone except with those in your household. Self-Isolation means no outside contact with anyone or to the very minimum only when needed ( I am talking people who need help at home). People who should be doing this: Anyone returning from a trip outside the country, anyone with underlying conditions ( especially those with immunity issues), the elderly, any one that has contracted Covid-19. You should self-isolate for at least 2 weeks
Social-Distancing: This is when you have to go out. You keep at least a 3 metre (6foot) gap between you and another person. Everyone who”s going out should be doing this.
You should not be spending time with anyone outside your household in close proximity.
How Am I holding up?
I am writing this portion sort of as a tip section and what I am doing?
I will let you know what I’ve been doing during this outbreak and what I have done to try and keep sane. I have had to come back home to my little hometown to finish my college courses online. I also in the mean time get to spend a lot of time with my children and needing to figure out how to keep them learning.
The first thing I noticed when I got back home and during this quarantine is the lack of routine. The first few weeks I slept in, did my work at all sorts of times, the small self-care routine I built in Sudbury was gone, as well as exercising and meal planning. What happens when there’s no routine? Chaos ensues.
My first tip rebuild your routine or start a new one. When I say build your routine that’s just what I mean. If you can wake up and do a whole new routine everyday great. I myself prefer to start small until one habit becomes routine. My self-care routine isn’t a big one, I used to only wash my face when I showered ( every 1-2 days) and usually at night. Now, first thing when I wake up I use some micellar water to cleanse my face and add face lotion and at night I use a face wash and a lotion. I use a facial scrub every two days. I’m not one who truly believes in face creams but I just found that doing these little steps just helped put me in a better mood. It is the time of day I set my intentions.
Another step in building your routine is setting a time to wake up at. I would get up anywhere between 8am – 10am. I now get up at 7 am, wash my face, grab some water and start looking through all the e-mails. Yes, I check my e-mails first now, I only do that because well between my teachers, the college e-mails, the kids teachers and the district school boards e-mails, let’s just say they can get overwhelming.
I am by far not perfect and building my routine has helped but I won’ t lie I have had my share of stress meltdowns. Trying to resettle into a routine at home has been hard. My next two steps to add back into my routine is healthier eating ( I miss my smoothies and healthier eating) and exercise ( flare-ups and a bit of laziness has one over the last week).
The routine with the kids. Sure, I should probably wake them up at a certain but who are we kidding, I like my quiet time. Also, I found that my kids have an astounding ability to wake up around the same time every day. They wake up around 8am. Their routine is to have breakfast then one of two chores: feed the fish or put away the dried dishes, they alternate weeks on these chores. After that we do some homework. I used to do their homework at the same time but I found it challenging to do. I couldn’t help them one on one and I would get over whelmed with anxiety ( this is why I am not a teacher, and greatly appreciate what they do). So, I work with them one at time. 30 minutes each alternating. I find this gives them a break to relax and they come back fresher. I allow them to have plenty of downtime during the day. I no longer monitor screen time, but I do force them outside. They had fun passing the shop-vac in our drive-way the other day. Yes, it sounds weird but the boys had fun doing it and it kept them out getting some fresh air. We’ve also started walking the dogs again as a family during nice sunny days.
Homework with the kids has become a little less stressful now that the children are doing some e-learning . Even if they miss the video conference calls the fact that work is assigned for them has taken some stress off my shoulders.
Have fun and do activities. Yes, I haven’t written a ton on the blog. I started ideals and scrapped them because well I just didn’t think they were good. I did however work a bit on my knitting ( so slow at it), I’ve also played board games with the kids, and spend time sewing with my oldest son ( he got a bunch of sewing stuff for Christmas). Also, remember to take a pause, this is the one thing I am realizing is the most important but the hardest one for me to master. When you start getting stressed out and want to yell, cry or breakdown just take a pause. I let my anxiety get the best of me at times but I find that if I just take a step, take a big breath and look at how things are I can start thinking clearer and then everyone is happier.
So what have I’ve been doing so far to keep me sane?
Building a morning and bed time routine.
Staying hydrated and eating healthy.
Building a homework routine with the kids.
Exercising or moving daily.
Breathing and taking a pause.
Until next time go find yourself some spoons.
PS. This was written beginning of April posting another one soon.
Today I want to talk about a new favorite yoga instructor. She is a fellow spoonie and has so many great videos. Before I get to far ahead of myself though I want to review a series she has done at the beginning of January 2020 and that I was lucky enough to get to do.
40 Days to reconnect
This 40 day yoga journey is lovely. Yes, it took me a bit longer to complete it but I absolutely enjoyed it. So what is 40 days to reconnect? It is a lovely, caring and gentle approach to yoga. It not only builds slowly on the foundations of yoga but it connects mind, body and soul in a spoonie friendly way. You can do them consecutively or take your time and do them at your own pace. Throughout this blog you will see some of my favorite mantras from the series.
I bend and move forward without hesitation…
yogi with fibro
I stand in my truth and I move forward with joy
yogi with fibro
I am always growing, I am never stuck or the same
yogi with fibro
Equipement ( 1/1)
The equipment needed for this practice is very minimal or can be substituted by regular household items.
A yoga mat. Now yes, mats are generally preferred as not only will they provide you with some ‘grip’ and some padding but a towel or blanket can do. It might not provide you with grip but it will give you some cushioning and a clean place to do your practice.
A strap. They do have straps made to help ease in to yoga positions with different loops you can use but again a towel or even a belt can help you do this. I actually find a belt better then a strap most of the time.
Blocks are usually used to help bring the floor up to you, lay your head on or bring your hips in a more comfortable position. Pillows offer all of these things plus they are softer. You can also use books, or any other surface that will help bring you up a bit when needed.
A chair-Yes, you need a chair for a few of the videos for support. Please make sure it’s not a folding chair.
The length of the practices I found were awesome. The were anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes at most. It made it perfect for days were I felt I couldn’t get any exercise in whether it be due to time or pain. The sessions are short but they allow plenty of work and relaxation to be done.
I am enough, enough I am.
Yogi with fibro
I deserve to feel calm and live a calm, peaceful life.
Yogi with fibro
Inner silence, inner stillness, inner peace.
Yogi with fibro
One of the things I love about this practice is that you start right from the beginning by connecting to the practice. She then builds a connection to yourself by moving through practices that are concentrated on one body part at a time. Parts of our physical selves that we often forget to tend to or that we don’t think we need to spend time loving.
The practices flow from one video to another building on what you did the day before. It’s a beginner’s practice at a core level yet it can offer so much to people who aren’t new to the practice as well.
This yoga practice has so many great things to it. There’s mantras, self-exploration and growth. The yoga practice is great for everyone.
It has a lot of time for meditation in it which I truly enjoy. As much as I like yoga sessions where there is continuance talking, I love this practice because there isn’t that much. Being a spoonie often means we can be overwhelmed by everyday life and this practice really allowed me to just concentrate on my thoughts, my feelings and my own well-being without being spoken too the whole time.
I do wish she had more angles in her videos. I do understand however, that it can be hard if you don’t have your own videographer to take better angles and move along with you.
I am aware of the perfect timing in my life.
yogi with fibro
There’s nothing in the way to stop me but me, and that in every moment I can begin again and change me.
yogi with fibro
I easily flow with new experiences, new directions and new changes.
yogi with fibro
Sarah has a lovely site where you can get this reconnect series and multiple others. She has just launched the 10-weeks Joint Health Course and releases regular videos during the month. She is a caring teacher and I believe a lot of it comes from being a spoonie herself and her understanding of our needs. I encourage you to go visit her website and enjoy the multitude of videos she has.
I know I’ve been slacking on the blog. I promise I will try and do better. I do have a bunch of ideals and titles written down I just haven’t gotten to writing them. You would think the whole covid-19 pandemic and the social isolation going on I would’ve worked more on this little project of mine.
I figured I’d give a little update on what’s been going on my end. I’ve been busy studying a lot with school. It’s been a lot on plate learning all this new and interesting stuff. I have been working out at home and at the gym when I was school and studying hard. I also won’t lie, I was totally catching up on all the Netflix shows I could in between studying. Now, with the Covid-19 virus I’ve been back home in my little town. Studies are on-line at the moment and I’ve been working hard to keep on top of it all. I’ve also been trying to make sure the kids are still learning things. I bought a bunch of Dollarama books last summer for French and Mathematics. They’ve been doing a few of the pages out of each book. I will be working on their reading in the up coming week as well.
I am basically a house wife at the moment as my husband still works. I cannot work since I have to be at home with my children. No school means no daycare. I am finding hard to transition( there’s nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom). I love my children very much but, I am very much a workaholic. I love being at work, it’s the only time I love being around adults. I am very much the type of person that likes her alone time and I am now at home 24/7 around people all the time. Despite me having a hard time transitioning and not having a lot of alone time I have been very grateful for it. I get to spend time with the people I love most. I have gotten to see all the changes my children have made since I left for college. The change in their shows, hobbies, taste of food and their behaviours. They have been extremely helpful around the house and with my dad when they spend time with him when I am away. They are getting bigger, smarter and kinder everyday.
My oldest has taken this time to go through all his toys and my youngest well he’s definitely been enjoying t.v. time. Although, I make sure they don’t watch a ton of it they definitely get to watch more the usual. We’ve went through all their clothes and managed to get rid of 2 big gift bags ( you know reuse, reduce, recycle) that I am planning on giving away to a family in need. I will be repotting our mother-in-law ( snake) plant this week. My hubby has done a good job taking care of the plants while I’ve been gone but repotting them isn’t something he will do. I also bought a few things he will need to take care of the vegetable garden, as well as he will have to transplant the strawberries in better containers for me this year as I won’t be home.
I have also continued to workout with the beach body program The Prep. I should’ve been done the program by now by I am taking a few days off extra when I need too. My flare-ups have still been under control. My eating habits have changes since being back home because I don’t have all my beans and rice here. The hubby and I did buy some though and I found some left over frozen food that I made before leaving that are either vegan or vegetarian which will help me stay a bit more on track.
Other self-care things I’ve been doing since being home. Using the infra-red sauna. I haven’t seen a chiropractor or massage therapist since school and a few sore spots have grown. The infra-red sauna definitely helps with some of the pain that I’ve had. I’ve also been signing, this one sounds weird but I read somewhere that stimulating the uvula ( the dangly thing in the back of your throat) helps with pain control. Plus let’s face it, music itself is stress-relieving and I dance a bit too it helps keep me moving. Drinking plenty water and water, hydration is usually one the first things I slack on when my routine changes, but I’ve been doing good on keeping it up. I’ve also been taking in all the hugs and cuddles I can. I think that is one of the hardest thing about not being at home is the lack of physical contact with my loved ones. I didn’t think I would miss hugs and cuddles as much as I did. I’ve been grateful for this time off. I’ve gotten to enjoy my kids a lot. I’ve also worked on knitting a bit while I am at home. I am probably one the slowest knitters in the world.
Anyways, that is basically everything going on in my life at the moment. I will be trying to work on the blog in between spending time with the kids and homework.
I just wanted to touch base with all of you’s. I know I am slowly falling behind the blog posting but I promise I am trying. I have been very busy trying to adjust to the new pace of life. I am juggling school, bus transportation , work ( or searching for work) and homework. It has been extremely exhausting.
I am enjoying the new challenges. I’ve never moved out of my hometown before. I am lucky that I get to live with my mother-in-law or else going to college would be out the question. It feels weird being away from the boys and the hubby but we try to talk every night if our schedules allow it.
The GOVA bus system transit is something to get used to. I have the worst sense of orientation so it was a bit challenging. My sister helped me figure out that I can actually just take the bus right close to my home to get to college. I was walking all the way to the transit when I didn’t have too. I know google and GOVA try their best to be user friendly but it’s not so much that way all the time. I am slowly learning how to navigate everything though.
The gym at the college has machinery that is completely different looking then the gym that I used in my home town. It’s also a little intimidating to workout around that many people. I generally go to the multi-purpose room where the dumbbells, squat racks and a cable machine are. It’s a bit smaller and quieter. I have been continuing to workout lifting weights about 4 times a week. I cannot go as hard as I used to because I will exhaust myself even more and I am having a hard time staying up past 8 lately. I am just glad that I am still making it a priority , I still try to keep my workouts to at least an hour. I tried the stair climber the other for the first time. Holy, hell 5 minutes on that thing and I was dead. I am for sure going to be trying to conquer that thing by the end of college.
Eating hasn’t been as much of a challenge. I have either a smoothie or left overs in the mornings. My lunches always consist of plenty of fruits and veggies with hummus and of course left overs. I also have a small container of protein powder in my locker in case I need it. My MIL and I always have soup in the fridge, that way if we are too tired to cook, there’s always something in the fridge, it has saved my bacon on numerous accounts so far. Having that little bit of soup to be able to eat when I get home saves my money and my health by not going out for junk food. I do have to learn how to cook smaller batches though. The first week we had well, a weeks worth of soup to eat. We ended up freezing some. I also made some apple sage beans, shrimp and chorizo bake with rice. My MIL made me a delicious poutine the other day when I got back from school it was delicious. She also made a red lentil soup which is to die for. I will be taking the recipe from her for that one for sure.
The youngest of the boys had unfortunately contracted strep-throat which seems that it might be the illness he is susceptible too. A good round of anti-biotics cleared that up no problem. Of course this happens the first week I am gone. I have a great support team though and I know the boys will do great. I’ve had to learn to cope with some lack of communication but really that can happen. I just had to play a bit of the go between but everything was resolved and ship is in tip top shape again.
The hubby , like me, is getting used to the routine of being a single dad but he is doing great. I am glad he has the support of my family to help him with the boys. He has been cooking what looks like delicious meals. I am sort of jealous to be honest. Hopefully he’ll cook for me like that when I get home after the year and half. Who am I kidding he hates cooking and is only doing it because he has too haha.
I am hoping to find the balance to start posting more blogs about Fibromyalgia itself as the next few months roll. I promise I will be working on it.
This year one of my biggest goals is how to effectively do meal planning and prepping. I have decided to do some research in order to help me become better with this. I figured that starting this would be easier on me in the coming year as I will be by myself. I have tried meal planning but I sometimes find it hard with boys that a) always want the same 5 meals which gets boring and b) a hubby that loves take-out especially when I don’t want to cook because he doesn’t like to and I won’t say no.
So now I’ve done my research and I am armed with what I need to do. I will be moving to a new place. I will be missing a few containers ( although I did buy some I will need more) and other elements. Therefore January will be my get-started-time. I don’t think it will take me all of January. To be honest I think once I am where I am staying I will just go and buy a few more containers to ensure I have enough to last me the week. I will also have limited fridge space so I have to keep that into consideration.
I will have to find recipes that I love. I already have a list now I think what I am going to start doing is typing out the recipes I absolutely love. I’m also going to have to look for recipes with my meal restrictions: none/low in gluten, limited dairy. I will also enjoying more vegan and vegetarian recipes and have a limited amount of meat dishes. I do definitely want more veggies in my diet though. I like keeping my fruits for the morning.
I will have to figure out a day that will best be suited for me to make my food preparation, but that will be done once I get into a routine. The month of January might be a bit hard to figure out a specific time until I my routine is established but I am determined to make this work.
I am also planning to have food multiple times a week ,to help minimized the amount of cooking and recipes I have to make. I definitely want meals for lunch and suppers on the go as well as snacks. Between school and work, I will have a very busy schedule and I want to make enough food to keep me full all day.
I know my breakfast will be easily planned out, I’m already into a routine for my breakfast . I tend to stick to: Oatmeal, eggs, smoothies and on the rare occasion toast with a fruit.
I am hoping that lunch will consist of a salad of some sort. I am not thinking boring lettuce. I want to bring in variety in my lunches every week. Suppers well I don’t know yet what they will be.
I will also have to learn to budget very well with this routine. I have to support a household by paying utilities, my groceries as well as my children’s etc… My hubby has the grunt of the bills just in case you’re wondering.